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WCC Men's Basketball Mid-Week Report

Feb. 20, 2008

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With just two weeks of conference play remaining, the WCC regular season title is still up for grabs. Gonzaga and Saint Mary's are tied atop the conference standings with identical 10-1 WCC records, while San Diego is just one and a half games back at 8-2. The Zags, Gaels, and Toreros have already locked up first round byes in the conference tournament. All three teams will be competing for the top two seeds of the tournament, which receive byes until the semifinals.


Feb. 23
*Pepperdine at Loyola Marymount - 1:00 PM ^
*San Diego at Santa Clara - 7:00 PM
Kent State at Saint Mary's - 9:00 PM $ %

Feb. 25
*San Diego at Saint Mary's - 7:00 PM
*San Francisco at Santa Clara - 7:00 PM !
*Gonzaga at Portland - 8:00 PM %

* Denotes WCC games; ^ Televised on CSTV; $ BracketBusters; % Televised on ESPN2; ! Televised on CSN; All times PST

WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Saint Mary's Patrick Mills Earns Weekly Honor
Saint Mary's freshman guard Patrick Mills was named the WCC Player of the Week for his performance in leading the Gaels to road wins at LMU and Pepperdine. Mills turned in a brilliant week, averaging 20.0 ppg in just 24.5 minutes per contest in the two wins. He also handed out 3.0 apg to go along with 2.5 spg and 2.5 rpg. The Canberra, Australia native shot the ball extremely well during the week, knocking down 66.7 percent (14-of-21) from the field, including 63.6 percent (7-of-11) from beyond the arc.


Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-6 / 10-1 WCC)
- The Bulldogs edged San Diego, 59-55, on Monday evening to improve to 10-1 in WCC play to stay in a first place tie in the conference standings with Saint Mary's.

- Gonzaga held the Toreros to just 33.9 shooting for the game. The Zags lead the WCC and rank 20th in the nation in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 39.3 percent from the field.

- Junior Jeremy Pargo handed out a game-high five assists versus San Diego. Pargo is pacing the WCC and ranked 12th in the nation in assists with 6.33 apg.

- Freshman Austin Daye ranks fourth in the nation in free throw percentage (91.8 percent).

- The Zags travel to Portland (2/25) this weekend.

Loyola Marymount Lions (5-22 / 2-9 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount dropped a 66-46 decision to Santa Clara on Monday.

- The Lions had three players in double figures versus SCU, including a team-high 14 by freshman Tim Diederichs. Freshman Orlando Johnson and junior Marko Deric added 10 each.

- Johnson also hauled in a team-high six rebounds. Johnson, who has scored 328 points in his first season at LMU, needs just 13 more points to move into fifth place on the Lions' all-time freshman scoring list. He has also grabbed 135 rebounds this season to tie for third on LMU's freshman charts.

- Shawn Deadwiler ranks second in FT percentage (.857) during league games.

- The Lions host rival Pepperdine (2/23) this weekend.

Pepperdine Waves (9-18 / 3-8 WCC)
- The Waves dropped a 100-64 decision to No. 20 Saint Mary's on Monday evening.

- Tom Asbury will return to Malibu and take over as the Waves' head coach next season. Interim Head Coach Eric Bridgeland, who was elevated to interim coach following the resignation of Vance Walberg on Jan. 18, will remain in that role for the remainder of the 2007-08 season.

- Asbury was at Pepperdine for 15 seasons, the first nine as an assistant coach (1980-88) and then the next six as the head coach (1989-94). He then served as head coach at Kansas State from 1995-2000 and was most recently an assistant coach at Alabama from 2004-07.

- Malcolm Thomas notched his sixth double-double of the season in the loss against SMC.

- The Waves travel to rival Loyola Marymount (2/23) this weekend.

Portland Pilots (8-19 / 2-9 WCC)
- The Pilots dropped a 73-60 decision to USF to fall to 8-19 overall and 2-9 in WCC play.

- Sophomore guard Nik Raivio scored 16 points to lead the Pilots against the Dons. Raivio, who averages a team-best 13.1 ppg, has paced the Pilots in scoring 10 times this season, including five of the last six games.

- Freshman forward Luke Sikma had another solid outing with eight points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Sikma has led the Pilots in rebounding 17 times, including the first nine games of the season.

- Freshman Jared Stohl ranks second in the WCC with 56 made three-pointers.

- Portland hosts Gonzaga (2/25) on Monday.

Saint Mary's Gaels (23-3 / 10-1 WCC)
- Saint Mary's defeated Pepperdine, 100-64, to remain in a first place tie with Gonzaga in the conference standings with a 10-1 WCC record.

- The Gaels made a school-record 17 three-pointers en route to the win over the Waves. The last time SMC scored 100 points was on Feb. 28, 2004 when the Gaels scored 104 against the Waves in Moraga.

- Junior Diamon Simpson scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. Simpson eclipsed the 1,000-point mark on Monday and now has 1,009 points in his career. He is the 25th player in school history to score 1,000 points. He has 687 career rebounds, which is ninth all-time at SMC, and with 13 more rebounds he will become just the fifth player in school history to score 1,000 points and grab 700 rebounds.

- Saint Mary's hosts Kent State (2/23) and San Diego (2/25) this week.

San Diego Toreros (15-12 / 8-2 WCC)
- The Toreros were edged by Gonzaga, 59-55, on Monday to fall to 15-12 overall and 8-2 in WCC play.

- The Toreros, who sit in third place in the conference, have already guaranteed themselves a top four finish in the regular season standings and at least one bye in the conference tournament, held at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The last time the WCC Tournament was held in San Diego was in 2003, with Toreros earning the league's automatic bid with a 72-63 win over Gonzaga in the championship game.

- Freshman Trumaine Johnson led the Toreros with 17 points, all in the second half, against Gonzaga, including 5-for-7 from three-point range in the second half.

- San Diego looks to get back to its winning ways as the Toreros travel to Santa Clara (2/23) and Saint Mary's (2/25) this week.

San Francisco Dons (7-19 / 3-8 WCC)
- San Francisco earned its third conference win with a 73-60 victory over Portland on Monday.

- Senior Danny Cavic tossed in a career-high 25 points in the Dons' win over the Pilots. Cavic, made six three-pointers in nine attempts to lead the Dons to a season-high 10 three-pointers.

- Senior Vince Polakovic scored a career-high 20 points in the win over Portland, topping his previous high of 18 points set against Gonzaga on Saturday. Polakovic sat out the first 24 games of the season as the NCAA determined he had played on a professional team in Germany where other players were paid, but Polakovic was not paid for his services.

- Sophomore Dior Lowhorn leads the WCC in scoring with 20.5 ppg.

- San Francisco travels to Bay Area rival Santa Clara (2/25) on Monday.

Santa Clara Broncos (13-12 / 5-5 WCC)
- Santa Clara evened its WCC record to 5-5 with a 66-46 win at Loyola Marymount on Monday.

- Junior John Bryant, turned in a monster performance, scoring a career-high 36 points to go along with 15 rebounds and three blocks. Bryant, who connected on 11-for-11 from the field against Pepperdine on Saturday and nailed 15-of-20 shots against LMU, shot an amazing 83.8 percent from the field on the Broncos' Southern California swing.

- The double-double was Bryant's WCC-leading 13th double-double of the season. Bryant, who is turning in an MVP caliber season, leads the WCC in scoring (20.1 ppg), rebounding (11.4 rpg), field goal percentage (.655) and blocked shots (2.80 bpg) during conference play. He is the only player in the WCC to lead the conference in four different statistical categories.

- Santa Clara hosts San Diego (2/23) and Bay Area rival San Francisco (2/25) this week.